Middle ear infections are very common in toddlers. When a virus or bacteria enters the middle ear through the eustachian tubes in the back of the nose, the result is a build-up of fluid in the middle ear. The fluid pushes up against the eardrum — and that’s what causes so much pain.
As for the ear-tube surgery, a tiny tube is inserted into the eardrum to circulate air in the area, which equalizes the pressure in the middle ear; your pediatrician will be the best judge. But there are a few questions that might help to give you a general sense of whether or not your son’s are serious enough: Are his ear infections difficult to treat, even with antibiotics? Is his speech delayed? Does his hearing seem affected? In those cases, he may be a candidate.